Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays


For many, the holiday season brings an abundance of riches each year, but with this excitement and frenzy comes a time when fatty foods, stress, and irregular eating habits can disrupt our digestive systems. For many people, occasional constipation is an added burden to deal with during an otherwise happy and joyful time. Eating well and maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the holiday season can be difficult and stressful, which can leave you feeling tense and overwhelmed.

Dietitians often counsel clients on making simple lifestyle changes to deal with occasional constipation, but there may be times, like the holidays, when a laxative can help. In those cases, Michelle Dudash, registered dietitian nutritionist and author of Clean Eating for Busy Families suggests using a gentle product such as Senokot® Tablets, which contains the natural vegetable laxative ingredient shown to be effective for occasional constipation. Still, it’s important to also know what might trigger occasional constipation.

“The holidays are filled with some of our favorite food indulgences, making it a challenge to eat healthy,” explains Dudash. “During this time of celebration, it is easy to forget that most fatty holiday fare lacks in fibrous fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and that can lead to digestive problems like occasional constipation. It is important to maintain healthy habits during the holidays to help you avoid digestive issues.” Dudash offers these tips:

Fiber does a body good. Fiber acts like a sponge in the intestines, holding water. As the stool absorbs water, it becomes softer and easier to pass. Fiber is found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans or legumes. Aim to incorporate more of these foods that are rich in both fiber and flavor:

  •   *Grains: Oatmeal with cinnamon, rolled oats in meatballs, whole-grain bread in stuffing
  •   *Fruits: Apples, pears, cranberries, and figs
  •   *Vegetables: Beans, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and carrots

Since it is the holiday season, don’t ignore your cravings and indulgences—but limit them. Heavy foods can be binding, like ice cream and creamy sauces, and have little to no fiber. It is okay to have a taste, but be sure to watch your portions.

Stay hydrated. Since many holiday drinks are brimming with sugar and alcohol, be sure to balance these libations with water. Dehydration may cause occasional constipation so be sure to drink sufficient amounts of water. Flavored sparkling water with a splash of juice offers a festive alternative.

Work it out. Nutrition experts recommend a healthy, balanced diet as well as exercise to combat occasional constipation, but incorporating even just one of these can be challenging during the bustling holidays. Get familiar with your destination and accommodations to find a place to work out, or if you’re staying home, make time between family visits. Check out local running and biking trails, as well as areas suitable for hiking or long walks, to get your body moving. You can also download a workout video to your tablet or laptop.

A little extra help. While healthy eating and drinking habits and regular exercise are the best ways to stay on track during the holidays, sometimes you need another option. Dudash suggests a laxative such as Senokot® Tablets. Recommended by physicians for over 55 years, Senokot® provides gentle, overnight relief from occasional constipation. Also available in a small package of four tablets, Senokot TO GO® will easily fit into your purse, briefcase, or suitcase. Please read full product label before use. For more information and savings, go to